In India the names of celebrity couples don’t really get smooched together like we’ve seen with Hollywood’s Brangelina or various versions of Bennifer and the like. Instead we have a couple such as Surya and his wife Jyothika, whose names are always mentioned in conjunction, as if they were one and the same person.
Surya once spoke about how he first met his wife. It was on the set of their first film together, which was her first and his fifth. Success was instant for her, but eluded him, something he never begrudged her. He admits that she is the better actor and he is as proud of her as any husband can be.
The two appeared in seven movies together, all of them before they were married. Apparently their onscreen chemistry was so noteworthy that the media speculated about their off-screen relationship. He even cheekily blamed the media once with bringing them together.
At first he tried to avoid Jyothika, but when he happened to be close to one of her film sets (she was already a big name then) she noticed him and asked him why he wouldn’t even say hello to her. She wanted to stay in touch with him and they exchanged phone numbers.
The two became a couple and embarked on a surprisingly long-term relationship, eventually convincing their families that they should and would be married to each other. He is Tamil, she is from Mumbai.
His success came eventually, and he credits her for her unwavering support and faith in him. In 2007, a year after they married, there was a weird little rumour that wondered if Jyothika was worried about divorce and if that was why she had retired from acting. After all, what husband wants a working wife?
There seems to be no truth to this rumour at all, though. Surya was never worried about his wife working or being more famous and successful than him. It seems the decision was Jyothika’s alone, and when she became pregnant with their first child, it became much less of a surprise.
Jyothika simply wanted to be there when she founded a family with her husband and raise her children herself for the first few years.
It doesn’t seem as if those divorce rumours ever resurfaced again and Surya and Jyothika and their children have always been considered a happy couple and picture-perfect family. Last year, encouraged by her husband, Jyothika made a successful comeback and retired from being retired. Now that their children are older she can return to work without having to worry too much about them all the time.
We are still living in an age where motherhood and career seem to be mutually exclusive. One cannot be successfully achieved with the other as well. Good mothers can’t have a great career nor can career women be great mothers. Or so some old-fashioned minds seem to think. The father is never considered in this equation, however. If only men would also look after their children and enable their women to have a career as well.
Thankfully there are plenty of men like that around, but it doesn’t help when young mothers still having a bad conscience when leaving their kids behind to go to work.
Jyothika sacrificed her career for her children, but since Surya is very supportive and has always been a devoted father, she can now be both: a mother and an actor.
Together the two show their fans that not all celebrity relationships are doomed to divorce. And we certainly hope they’ll stay the exception and not become the rule.